Thatta, hometown of notable politicians, worst off in education
A clever Owais Muzaffar, a vocal Marvi Memon and the powerful Sherazi brothers all represent Thatta in the parliament. But 729 public schools remain closed, the highest in any Sindh district, according to an education department survey. Add ghost schools to the figure and it balloons to 897, according to a survey by the Supreme Court. Going by these statistics, of the 3,217 public schools in the district, 27.8 percent do not exist. The quality of education suffers at the remaining schools, which did not make it to the list. When it comes to education, Thatta ranks the worst among all 23 districts of Sindh. Ninety percent of students enrolled in grade five cannot read a simple Urdu or Sindhi story of grade two level, states the Annual State of Education Report.
Over 10,000 children to be enrolled in capital
The Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) has chalked out a three-year plan to enroll over 10,000 out-of-school children in the Islamabad Capital Territory during the next three years. The plan was finalised by a two-member committee which will be presented to the Minister of State Barrister Usman Ibrahim for final approval, an officila at the division told The Express Tribune. The division deals with policy matters while the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) is responsible for its implementation in its 424 institutes including 293 schools. The Rs59.7-million plan envisages induction of 200 teachers, besides collection of data on out-of-school children and coordination with implementation bodies. The federal education ministry with the help of provincial governments was working on the “National Plan of Action” to enroll out-of-school children.
Unity needed to improve early childhood development in country
Early childhood development can be improved by conducting advocacy, promoting sharing of knowledge and best practices, and by providing a forum for policy dialogue, curriculum enrichment, training and development. This was dicussed by the Early Childhood Development Network of Pakistan (ECDNP) during a conference, ‘Early Childhood Development – Prospects and Challenges’ on Saturday at the Movenpick hotel. Around 32 NGOs, government representatives, early childhood development experts participated in the conference. ECDNP is a network established by stakeholders working in either early childhood development or early childhood education in Pakistan. It was developed earlier this year in March. The chief programme manager of the Sindh education department’s reform support unit, Saba Mehmood, presented the government’s plans to improve early childhood education during the event.
As many as 11,000 children would be targeted through the expansion of the New School Programme, Punjab Education Foundation Director Waqar Azeem said on Sunday. Addressing a ceremony, he said expansion phase five of the New School Programme would provide schooling to children from low income households. The ceremony was held for monthly grant distribution among new school partners of the PEF.
IDPs living in government schools
With nearly 1,900 families of the internally displaced persons from North Waziristan lodged in government schools in Bannu, Lakki Marwat, Karak, Tank and Dera Ismail Khan, those living there would have to search anew for accommodation as the schools would reopen after summer vacations on August 15. The federal government has promised to open two relief camps to accommodate these families, but it remains to be seen if this would be done in time. A major challenge would be persuading the IDPs to live in tented camps. The choice of location of the new camps would be an important factor in motivating the IDPs to shift there.
‘Mobile Book Van’ handed over to NBF
National Book Foundation has been offering a comprehensive plan of Mobile Book Shop for book lovers of the country through holding variety of book reading schemes and incentives for Pakistan.
3.5 billion will be spent in 14 project of education
Ministry of Education will spend 3,5 billion rupees in the 14 projects in Islamabad, Balochistan, FATA, FANA, Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. Out of this 3.5 billion, 1.4 billion will be spend on “Education for All” project.
Sindh govt giving priority to health and education sectors
Sindh government is giving priority to the health and education sectors and has made matchless performance in these sectors.Government is committed to provide qualitative services to the people in these most important social sectors in future as well. Spokesman of Sindh Chief Minister House said this was evident from the fact education received highest share of resources and government allocated Rs 134.32 billion for non-development expenditure of the education in current financial year 2014-2015 and Rs 10.7 billion for development of its infrastructure.Similarly provincial health department has been allocated non-salary allocation of Rs 43.583 billion with 13.2 billion for its Annual Development Programme (ADP) 2014-15
Government policy on quota admissions ‘unclear’
Confusion has persisted at several education institutions special regarding quotas for admission a month after the Governor House issued a statement that all public educational institutions would uphold merit while admitting students. On June 18, following a meeting of the board of governors of the Aitchison College, it was announced that merit would be upheld at the college in particular and at all public educational institutions in general. The decision was made in the light of the chief minister’s directives for ensuring merit at educational institutes. Another meeting of the board held at Aitchison College on July 1 decided that all admissions will be made according to the merit criteria suggested by the management. Several media reports on ending quotas have since left many students confused. Maham Mukhtar, a second year intermediate student at Kinnaird College, told The Express Tribune clarity was needed on the quota system.
Lack of hostels in federal colleges perturbs students
The new academic session is going to start from August 11, but the education department of the capital is unable to provide hostel facility to college students, though hostel buildings are there in some colleges.
Sindh has lower multi-dimensional poverty indices as compared to other provinces. The gap between urban and rural indices is wider at 13.6 per cent in urban and 78.21 per cent in rural areas, indicating extreme poverty and facing multiple deprivations in districts such as Tharparkar, Thatta, Badin, Jacobabad, Ghotki, Mirpurkhas, Sanghar and Shikarpur. The speakers said that by providing a healthy environment for education and other extracurricular activities the young generation can become more responsible. They also highlighted the poor standard of school education which they said was influencing the young people towards antisocial behaviour.
Beyond dried milk and biscuits by Muhammad Hamid Zaman
There are those who make the argument that education is not an immediate concern and our concern should primarily be on the safety and basic commodities for survival. The two arguments are not mutually exclusive. Just because we need to provide food today does not mean that long-term settlement and integration will take care of itself by some miracle. We have been waiting for such miracles in every sphere of our life for far too long. We have to ask ourselves two basic questions. First, is education, in our vision of Pakistan, a right for all citizens? Or is it a privilege for the lucky? If we do agree that regardless of gender, political affiliation, ethnicity and tribal ancestry, education is a right for all citizens, let’s ask ourselves the second question. Do we consider the IDPs equal citizens as ourselves? The answer to this may be a lot harder than we may care to accept.
Fundos by default, not merely by design by Murtaza Haider
The increase in violence in Pakistan is believed to have its roots in religious extremism, which is often tied to the conservative madrassas (religious schools). The same madrassas are also accused of using religious texts to radicalise their students. This may explain why most madrassa students are often found advocating for, or resorting to, violence. However, this does not explain why others who attend mainstream colleges and universities are equally radicalised and willing to subscribe to religion-inspired violence. Since September 2001 the world’s attention has been focused on religious fundamentalism in South Asia. Also in 2001, Ahmad Rashid’s seminal book on the Taliban brought additional interest to the seminaries (madrassas) in Pakistan that had graduated several Taliban leaders.